Zg Session 114

Aleith|DM: Late evening, New Year's Day.
Aleith|DM: The Coaltongue continues flying you over northern Drakr when the lookout points out something odd to the west of the airship: a localized blizzard above a mountain pass nearby.
Aleith|DM: You're still several hours out from Bhad Ryzhavdut.
Zane leans against the rail, looking at the blizzard and frowning.
Aleith|DM: It's definitely odd. There's clouds around it, but the snow is only falling under the darkest clouds.
Ernst is mostly keeping to himself on the trip and tinkering with Stocke. So the usual.
Phyllis is out with Zane, doing much the same.
Chandrasekhar: "Not a question of whether that's natural but what could cause it and if it's something we ought to concern ourselves with, I suppose."
Zane: "If we did not have pressing business, I would very much like to stop and investigate this thing."
Phyllis: "Given who our adversary here is, yes, it could very much be related."
Gerald: "They do love their ice-as-entrophy motif."
Aleith|DM: Continuing to Bhad Ryzhavdut?
Phyllis: "Negentropy, you mean."
Gerald: "What?"
Phyllis: "Entropy would end in fire."
Phyllis: "Anyway. Time is at a premium. It's ominous, we likely know what or who is causing it, but we assume there's little for us to do with it now, yes?"
Zane: "Eh. We could go visit, murder the appropriate people. But on the other hand, undead army to kill up ahead."
Zane: "We probably want to be fresh for that."
Phyllis: "Not head-on, obviously."
Aleith|DM: It's still dark when you arrive at Bhad Ryzhavdut, though the Gyre's rise is only a few hours away on the Spring Equinox. It's strangely quiet.
Aleith|DM: Zane: With your darkvision, it's easier for you to make out details from the sky: the ground around the city is churned up, the city looks ruined, with huge gaps in the wall and smoke rising from the air. The army that's supposed to here appears to be missing.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: *smoke rising into the air from various spots
Zane: "… Oh man. We might have missed the party. The army's gone."
Gerald: "Huh."
Phyllis: "Or underground?"
Zane: "Wall's busted. Some places are on fire. Surrounding land is a mess."
Phyllis pauses for a few moments, then peruses her spellbook.
Zane: "Could be underground, she was doing that excavating thing. But that's a lot of tunnels to hide an army."
Aleith|DM: …there's a lot of bodies inside the fortress walls once you get a better angle to see over the walls.
Zane: "Lots of dead inside the walls, too."
Chandrasekhar: "…damn it."
Phyllis: "Potentially undead. I wouldn't be surprised if they animated."
Zane: "Alright let me down outside and get this thing back in the air, I'll scout around and come back in a couple of hours with a report."
Gerald‘ glances at Zane, then turns to their new scanning array and fires it up.
Aleith|DM: It’s going to take nearly an hour to scan an area that large, might as well do it at the same time.
Zane is going to hit up the area with Peerless Exploration. This place seems pretty screwed.
Aleith|DM: Zane: The city's been thorougly sacked. Many of the dead have been killed in battle or murdered in the aftermath, but many of the bodies near the missing holes in the walls appear to have just dropped dead. You estimate the time of death to be about 2, 2.5 days ago. The holes themselves are interesting: large, clean-cut sections twenty feet wide.
Aleith|DM: Gerald: The vortex array uncovers less magic than you might expect from a fortress this size. Mostly, there's some lingering necromantic energy around the holes in the walls of the fortress, which the Array models for you, including the tunnels underneath the fortress.
Phyllis may as well Detect Planar Energy: The Bleak Gate.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis: None.
Gerald: "Well, there's your tunnels at least Phyllis… doens't look like there's fuck all left here though."
Aleith|DM: There seem to be a large number of…sled? tracks running away from the outskirts of the former army camp leading away to the southwest.
Phyllis: "I feel like I should know what this is."
Phyllis: "But the name escapes my mind and tongue."
Zane: "I wonder if Heid is still alive."
Phyllis: "Do you think the best bet would be to follow those sled tracks?"
Aleith|DM: Unfortunatley, there's thousands of corpses here to check.
Zane: "Yeah. Trying to find a specific corpse in there would be an exercise in futility. Best thing we can do is hope they took him alive and go spring him."
Gerald: "I mean, if they don't have an army to invade us with anymore our job here is technically done… but it probably wouldn't hurt to figure out what the fuck killed them all."
Zane: "Unfortunately the invading army is mostly the ones outside the walls, I think."
Phyllis freezes over in her demeanor. "… I think I just remembered."
Phyllis: "Think Fey Titans, but Drakran and undead."
Phyllis: "And now, awake."
Phyllis: "Or at least that's what I fear."
Phyllis: "Shall we see what remains deeper in the tunnels?"
Gerald‘ shrugs. "Sure."
Zane: "As you wish, Ursinho."
Chandrasekhar: "That sounds like something I’d rather -not- think about." He smiles, thinly. "By which I mean, yes, we ought to look into that."
Aleith|DM: You find what appears to be the excavation site that Heid mentioned Komanov was investigating. It appears to be ancient, centuries if not thousands of years old, and the faded designs in the collapsed tomb are reminiscent of the carving from that museum brocure clipping.
Aleith|DM: Aside from that, more dwarven corpses in the other tunnels, and sacked homes.
Zane: "The lich was talking about these, was he not?"
Phyllis: "About which?"
Zane: "I only vaguely remember. Something about the riders that would bring about the apocalypse or some such."
Phyllis: "No, those are different, I thought."
Ernst nods in response to Phyllis.
Phyllis: "Potentially also in play, but those are more like … eternally wandering sorts of types, lost in blizzards."
Zane looks back at where they just passed by that blizzard earlier. "You don't say."
Phyllis: "We're less busy than we thought we'd be, yes?"
Phyllis: "So we double back and investigate."
Zane: "Mmhmm."
Aleith|DM: It takes you several hours to get back to where you found the blizzard-the sled tracks do in fact lead here, with one large area that look like where they camped overnight along the way-and the blizzard has moved on, with new tracks continuing into the forest to the southwest. The blizzard appears to have been hovering over another spot where they camped.
Aleith|DM: There's more snow along the track of the sleds, partially covering the huge tracks, than to either side of the path.
Phyllis: "Continuing along?"
Gerald: "No reason to stop now."
Zane: "Of course. This army isn't going to stop itself. The forest wont do the ship any favors though. May have to chase them on foot."
Aleith|DM: A few hours later, the Coaltongue catches up to the localized blizzard, which appears to have stopped again as evening sets in. The sled tracks lead straight to it. For huge sleds, they seem to have been making really good time.
Aleith|DM: Consulting maps, they appear to be heading in the direction of Mirsk. And stopped at a small town along the path.
Zane: "Well. That bodes poorly for the town. But well for us. It's a lot easier to sabotage an army when its in pieces like this."
Aleith|DM: Low clouds hang two hundred feet above the town, along with a blizzard of snow falling from it, obscuring the town from sight.
Gerald‘ get all his gear together, nodding to Zane.
Phyllis: "What kind of approach are you thinking of?"
Zane: "Head-on."
Zane: "No, I am kidding."
Zane: "I can poison or burn their supplies, the small fry are easy to take out of the equation. I am worried about these five riders, though. And there is still the matter of finding Vlendam Heid."
Phyllis: "Should I prepare a spell to give us some thawing weather? Should take an hour."
Zane: "Hm. It would make it easier to move around. But it will also be a dead giveaway that we are here."
Phyllis: "I’ll refrain, then."
Zane looks unhappily at the snow. "Might as well, honestly. Most of you are going to leave an unmissable trail once we start the fireworks."
Gerald: "Ayup."
Zane: "I'll use the time to go look around again."
Gerald: "I can use the arrey to pin point the big guys too, then."
Zane: "Sounds like a plan."
Phyllis nods and gets to casting Control Weather, intending to set the weather to thawing. (( Nature roll involved. ))
Aleith|DM: Okay
Phyllis rolled d20+29 and got 5 ( Total: 34.0 )
Zane has another Peerless Exploration episode. Good thing he's got a plethora of healing surges.
Aleith|DM: You can control it for 16 hours, it seems.
[OOC] Phyllis: "You control the weather’s general tendencies, such as the direction and intensity of the wind or the degree of obscurity from fog, hail, rain, and snow." She's shooting for 'let's not make it a thing anymore, pause the snow'
Aleith|DM: Zane: You see a couple of massive skeletons made from stone and bone, twenty feet tall, in the shape of dwarves and wearing stylized stone plate armour covered in hundreds of skulls, patrolling the outside of the camp near the edges of the blizzard, in circular pattern. They're mounted atop gargantuan dire polar bears, and there's a ten-minute gap between the patrols at a single point. You estimate four of them are doing the patrolling.
Aleith|DM: Inside the camp, it's only vaguely resembling something like 'organized', and many of them are busy carousing like it's the end of the world and they know it. It's not as large as Drakr's army, but there's still tens of thousands of soldiers here. At the edges of the camp, there's four smaller camps spread equidistant of approximately 50 frost giants each, with their own polar bear mounts.
Zane: "Shiiiiiiit."
[OOC] Zane: Any likely spots to find Heid? Talk among the soldiers if he's dead/alive?
Aleith|DM: Gerald: The vortex array shows the camp sprawling around and through the town. Larger tents are shown in four corners around the camp where Zane finds the frost giants. Four large necromantic energies are slowly moving around the perimeter, while another one is near the centre of the camp. Another massive necromantic signature is nearby the central one. The entire blizzard appears to be psychically-powered.
Chandrasekhar: "Good heavens."
Gerald: "Neat."
Aleith|DM: The cultists are curious about you, Zane, but from their dull expressions they aren't that interested and treat you as another one of them. You can just make out some kind of link running up from each of them up into the clouds above.
Aleith|DM: From the cultists, you find out that they wiped out basically the entire city of Bhad Ryzhavdut, but Grandis Komanov took Vlendam Heid captive as a trophy.
Zane mingles for a little and heads back to the ship. "OK, so there's good news and bad news. More bad than good."
Aleith|DM: Phyllis: The clouds disperse in the area…except for the locallized blizzard over the town. It resists your Control Weather.
Chandrasekhar: "Auspicious. I assume the bad news is 'we have an army to mow through', so what's the good news?"
Gerald: "…Guess the psychic blizzard is stronger than weather control magic?"
Zane: "That's part of it yeah. Good news is that Vlendam Heid is still alive. Komanov kept him alive as a trohpy."
Chandrasekhar: "Excellent."
Zane: "More bad news is that there's not just an army of dwarves. Also four camps of frost giants, roughly fifty head each. Plus four giant undead dwarves on undead polar bears riding sentry duty. Which leaves the fifth rider unaccounted for. Probably somewhere deeper in the camp."
Aleith|DM: There was also the occasional phalanx of skeletons.
Zane: "And an occasional phalanx of undead."
Phyllis swears in Dwarven and plants her hands on the railing, staring at the town.
Zane: "Also there's something… tied from the cloud to the soldiers. Not like back in Ber."
Aleith|DM: It's basically a hivemind.
Chandrasekhar: "Rrrgh."
Aleith|DM: Powered by tens of thousands of soldiers.
Zane: "Kinda like a hivemind, I guess."
Gerald: "I vote we sick our dragons on the skeletons at least."
Aleith|DM: Towards the end of your foray into the camp, Zane, you saw the four Vsadni riders enter the camp to try to clean up the formation and get them ready to eat their evening meal.
Aleith|DM: Groups of cultists moved through the camp, distributing alcohol rations while loudly proclaiming: "All must end. The world is all we know. The world must end. Let us witness that end. A serpent wraps its white coils around our destiny. Let our strength bolster his. Let our souls feed him. Let our glory be the last image seen by his cyclopean gaze. The battle is nigh."
Zane: "Hang on there's one more layer to this cake."
Zane: "You're gonna love this, Gerald."
Aleith|DM: Shortly after, all the cultists went silent as the various braziers and bonfires around the camp snuffed out, their flames replaced by a wavering blue light in the shape of Grandis Komanov's face.
Aleith|DM: She adressed them with a five-minute long speech, slow and intimate at first, reinforcing the bonds they share through recent suffering and a shared history of conflicts that never could bring peace.
Aleith|DM: Slowly, though, she ratchets up the intensity of her rhetoric, elucidating a condensed list of grievances in order to paint the leaders of Drakr in the darkest terms possible—as oathbreakers and cowards. She names the great cities of Drakr, landmarks in each, and with grandiosity proclaims that the monuments crafted by these corrupt leaders must be torn down.
Aleith|DM: As she speaks, the strands that link each warrior with the hivemind storm grow more solid, and some even glow.
Aleith|DM: Finally she ends with:
Aleith|DM: “Warriors of the Final Army, the world’s end is nigh. Its eyes? Dark! Its heart?
Aleith|DM: Like a frozen river! Its breath? Crushed from it like a goat trapped in the coils
Aleith|DM: of a serpent. None of us can be saved. All that remains is for us not to shrink in
Aleith|DM: fear from the icy end of the earth, but to be brave, to stand like giants until the
Aleith|DM: final light. The song of our people, the tales of our families, has lasted centuries,
Aleith|DM: and now we shall give that song—that epic legend—the grand finale it deserves.
Aleith|DM: We shall sweep across this land like a scythe, and our march shall leave no life
Aleith|DM: behind to suffer a pathetic, whimpering death. Glory! That is what we bring! For
Aleith|DM: if this world is to die, let it be in battle! Let it be in passion! Let it be at our hands!
[OOC] Aleith|DM: whoops
Zane: "I think The Voice of Rot is here. Either that or they have a chant about feeding souls to a different one-eyed giant white serpent. And Komanov is using the hivemind, whipping it up to drive the soldiers on. She's going to unleash them all on the rest of the cities of Drakr."
Gerald: "Oh,"
Aleith|DM: To thunderous applause, the five Vsadni gallop through the entire camp as they sing a rousing war song—they have a wide repertoire—to whip up frenzied adulation of Komanov. Dozens of people incidentally die during the parade, either trampled by the beasts or pulled up onto the sleds for gruesome sacrifice. The last Vsadni rides atop a gigantic frost worm, pulling a sled of gold-highlighted steel, atop which Komanov, Heid (bound), and a few others ride.
Gerald: "I actually do like that, we only had like a year to grab his other eyeball so this saves us a lot of leg work on tracking him down."
Aleith|DM: Tellingly, though, no such strand links Grandis to the hivemind.
Phyllis: "His TONGUE, Gerald."
Gerald: "Okay maybe *I* just wanted to gouge out his other eye."
Zane: "Oh, and they have a giant ice worm. Looked nasty. Its pulling a sled, Komanov, Heid, and a few others are riding it."
Gerald: "Hmm."
Gerald: "So what are you thinking, start picking off the big things from the outside in and making our way towards the primary target… or just dive right in, try and ctach her in an abush and have the airship and dragons create a distraction so we can get out?"
Phyllis: "What propels them to oblivion is … their last grasp on their agency."
Zane: "I'm not sure, honestly. I'd like an army to fight an army, but barring that… This is gonna be tricky."
Phyllis: "They WANT a fight."
Phyllis: "They want an ending."
Zane: "And I'd be happy to give it to them, but I'm about ten thousand soldiers shy."
Phyllis: "I feel like being a tease instead."
Chandrasekhar: "Well, you have my attention."
Chandrasekhar: "What's your plan?"
Phyllis: "Sabotage their path forward. Give them the pathetic and mewling deaths they don't want. The Riders can be lost for another thousand years."
Phyllis: "Rather, I turn this blizzard to its heaviest and unnavigable, as a start."
Zane: "Hm. This is good trap and snare country."
Phyllis: "…The question I have there is if we really have time to spare for that."
Phyllis: "What if we're able to convince them to have a fight with their leadership, claiming that there's no glory for us in being outnumbered?"
Zane: "Armies move slow. Its the inevitable consequence. We could probably spend a week running ahead of them and making things miserable and still have time to spare."
Zane: "Why dont you just, and I hate myself for even saying this, take control of the hivemind and turn them against each other?"
Aleith|DM: At their current pace, judging by how far apart they setup camps, they'd probably reach Mirsk in 3-5 days, depending on how much they stop to pillage. Those sleds they seem to be travelling on have been covering scores of miles each day.
Phyllis: "I mean that we need to attend to Crysillyr still, as well."
Phyllis: "And that seems like a risky proposition - I would need to sustain that sort of control to achieve any substantial effect in that large of a scale."
Chandrasekhar: "…what if you turned them against Komanov and let the rest sort itself out?"
Phyllis: "Possible, but along which lines?"
Zane thinks. "Turn the dwarves against the Frost Giants, make the Riders step in to sort it out. Meanwhile we go in, finalize Komanov and probably have to deal with Voice, get Heid and get the hell out."
Zane: "Unless you think you can just… debate your way through. Gods know the dwarves love their philosophical conflits."
Chandrasekhar laughs. "Had the same thought. Cut out the mohya entirely. She might resist magic, but could she resist a challenge?"
Zane shrugs. "She can resist my knife between her second and third vertebrae if Ursinho keeps her distracted long enough."
Phyllis: "I wonder how much she's already discussed with Heid."
Zane: "Also, counterpoint, she is a genuine dyed-in-the-wool lunatic that thinks the world only has meaning because she exists in it."
Phyllis: "That's why I'm not particularly enthused about engaging her in debate."
Phyllis: "You're the one that brought it up, not me."
Chandrasekhar: "Nothing quite as demoralising as a bad-faith argument."
Aleith|DM: Pemberton's duplicant speaks up from the side. "But how much of her army truly believes in her, and how much is just desperate for answers?"
Zane: "Yeah, its less about you convincing her, and more about cutting her army off at the knees."
Gerald: "I think we can reasonably assume the number of people that thing the world needs to end before some random crazy woman aree relatively low."
Pemberton: "And if you can convince them to stand aside, or even take her down? Then you won't have an army to deal with first. Just her and those Lost Riders, probably."
Phyllis: "… well, gaining a platform to speak should be no problem. Battlefield Elocution may come in handy again."
Gerald: "Well, the unbelievers are probably mostly using it as an excuse to indulge in their more destructive urges so… I don't know, do we have an outlit for them to vent that otherwise?"
Pemberton: "A convincing argument could break the hivemind, at least. Which should mute those urges."
Phyllis ndos at Pemberton. "I wasn't thinking of engaging them in debate, but I was looking at it through those tactical terms. That's what my initial suggestion about convincing them to let us fight only them, but leaning into the rhetoric she herself uses instead of cutting off their unison and morale."
Phyllis: "But since you put it that way."
Pemberton: "This parade that Constable Bieito mentioned. If they do this daily, that would probably be a great time to grab their attention."
Phyllis inhales. "Alright. What's our plan to appr - that sounds good."
Phyllis: "As far as our argument goes - I plan on inverting Komanov's accusations of cowardice. Drakr is a nation of builders and of order. The structures and monuments she mentioned? Those took time and effort and sweat and labor. Heid spoke of seeking the proper end of all things. Glory in battle is a coward's way out. Leaving things better than you left them is what their nation has done and
Phyllis: always stood for. "
Phyllis: "Just as an outline, an angle of attack, how does that sound?"
Zane: "Glory in battle is a noble death, but only if the fight is just. Fighting just to die is wasteful and stupid."
Phyllis: "They even have a -holiday- about this, it's ingrained in their culture. The Forge Festival."
Chandrasekhar: "Long have I heard the consonance between the Chant and Heid's philosophy, although it took a number of late-night philosophical arguments to hash out the details." He smiles. "One ought survive, and endure."
Chandrasekhar: "Rather than -seeking- the end."
Phyllis: "We had a chat about that, didn't we?"
Chandrasekhar: "Several, if I recall."
Phyllis: "'We all cease to be, but have we left a garden behind?'"
Aleith|DM: Zane sets a variety of traps in the forest ahead of the projected path of the army's trip.
Phyllis prepares with Control Weather and Battlefield Elocution shortly before the parade.
Aleith|DM: The next morning, you see the Vsadni riders summon numerous huge ice sleds to carry the army across the ground. Designed to be propelled by the winds of the hivemind blizzard, they're propelled faster than you might otherwise guess-far faster than an army would normally march.
Aleith|DM: Zane's traps aren't quite as effective against them as he might have though, though he does manage to catch or trip up a few of them, causing slight delays or them getting left behind and having to catch up later.
Zane: "Yeah, I didnt see that coming."
Gerald: "Ah that's what it was."
Chandrasekhar: "We have an old parable about a wicked man, a potter known throughout all the lands for the excellence of his work who, upon knowing his death was near and unavoidable, began breaking all of his masterpieces into shards, who said it was right to do so, for their existence would not matter, soon."
Chandrasekhar: "One ought not act in this way."
Aleith|DM: The army settles down in the early evening, the sleds formed back into snow.
Phyllis: "Is that our cue?"
Zane is going to disguise himself to look like part of the rabble and infiltrate the camp again, getting as close as he can to the center of the camp where Komanov is.
Aleith|DM: While the army IS mostly dwarves, there are a number of humans to blend into.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: blend in with
Zane could look like a dwarf. His Bluff is pretty damn good.
Aleith|DM: True. Probably easier to try a human with Chandrasekhar though.
Phyllis … is a dwarf.
Aleith|DM: Komanov is indeed near the centre of the camp, not far from the sled she was riding on last parade. You can't get too close (easily) but you do see her tinkering with some twelve-foot-long contraption of cold iron and obsidian, looking kind of like a slender cannon with twin handles reminiscent of a scythe. It looks heavy, but Komanov effortlessly moves it around.
Aleith|DM: One of the Vsadni is nearby, clad entirely in black adamantine armour, tendrils of darkness forming a huge beard that flows down to his knees. Beside him is the gigantic frost worm.
Aleith|DM: The Vsadni have finished organizing the camp, the dinner meal has started, and the camp has gone quiet as the fires are all snuffed and replaced with Komanov's image.
Aleith|DM: Komanov's speech is much the same as before, with only slight variation.
Komanov: "We shall sweep across this land like a scythe, and our march shall leave no life behind to suffer a pathetic, whimpering death. Glory! That is what we bring! For if this world is to die, let it be in battle! Let it be in passion! Let it be at our hands!"
Chandrasekhar doesn't seem convinced.
Phyllis rolls her eyes and speaks up - in a Battlefield Elocution-enhanced voice that clearly reaches the ears of those in a large area. "If I may interject."
Aleith|DM: The applause that started up cuts off just as abruptly as the Vsadni's beginning war song.
Komanov: "Who is that?!"
Chandrasekhar smiles.
Phyllis raises a hand. "Someone who merely wishes to test your mettle and the soundness of your ideas. I am here to provide some alternative answers to the crowd."
Komanov: "What?! How dare you! Intruders!"
Aleith|DM: There's some mumbling starting up amongst the army.
Aleith|DM: Some of the devout move towards you, as do the Vsadni, but others start arguing with them. "Oh yeah? What kind of answers?"
Phyllis stretches out her hand to the crowd. "Consider it a proper Drakran rite of passage. Did you truly ascend to your position with the strength of your ideas, or have you merely gagged and bound any opposition, winning by default? The marketplace of ideas demands fair competition."
Komanov: "And just who might you be?"
Zane: "Does it matter? Your ideas are being challenged, surely you can defend them…"
Phyllis: "Phyllis Lenz, and a well-practiced scholar in the Eschatological tradition."
Garrett's Crown and Chandrasekhar's Humble Hook let you know the names of the Vsadni riders, by the way, not that it matters too much…? Nebo is the one with the frost worm, the other 4 are Betel, Yarost, Tzertze, and Hamul.
Komanov: "Phyllis Lenz, is it? One of Risur's constables, aren't you? And what could you possibly want here? Is the rest of your merry little band here as well?"
Phyllis: "I'm trying to save you, or at the very least, to test your resolve before committing to something so permanent."
Aleith|DM: Komanov is definitely unhappy at this turn of events, but gives a mocking laugh. "Fine. You want a debate? Then let's turn tonight's entertainment into something a bit different."
Aleith|DM: The images in the campfires zoom out a bit as she waves her hand, showing the front of her sled. "Come on up here, then and let us debate. Do you want to do the full debate, or shorter rounds? I'll go first, as I have the home ground advantage, so to speak."
Phyllis: "Full."
Phyllis: "The shorter format leads to sophistry."
Komanov: "Very well. Give me 10 minutes to perpare, and we will begin. My grand army! We will soon have a debate over our honour! Our cause versus the outsider's!"
Aleith|DM: The parade doesn't start yet, though the Vsadni start up a war tune to fill the interlude.
Aleith|DM: The sound around the stage is muted for now, though, to allow preparations.
Chandrasekhar follows Phyllis up to the sled. No way is she going to have to stand there alone without backup! (Plus, he trusts exactly ZERO of these assholes even WITH their grand traditions.)
Aleith|DM: After your preparation, Komanov begins with the first round of her speech. She is more of a rhetorical speaker than a scholar, and so she crafts her arguments in a way to capture the emotions of her followers. She doesn't care so much about logic or consequences.
Aleith|DM: The key point of her first argument is: The world is going to end, so personal consequences are immaterial. People should do what they want.
Phyllis: "You state that the world is going to end, but you haven't provided any concrete evidence for it. Yes, the Gyre is drawing in matter that our star will join as well, but we're actively working to remedy the situation. The Obscurati and Danor sought to realign the planes, which is why the stars are different now. We can still do the same, and here's the important bit, -while we yet still draw
Phyllis: breath.- "
Aleith|DM: Diplomacy check (with a +5 bonus for pointing out the flaw in the argument)?
Phyllis rolled d20+50 and got 17 ( Total: 67.0 ) for +5 for pointing out flaw, +5 from Glib Tongue, Arcana sub from Suggestion
Phyllis: "You want glory to pursue? Try to save the world or die trying."
[OOC] Phyllis: +5 more for having the Book of Kelland since it's a CHA-based check.
Aleith|DM: Komanov's second point is that the history and traditions of the world are personal and worthy of respect, and so she wants everyone to fulfill a great destiny to give the world a fine ending.
[OOC] Phyllis: sec
Phyllis: "Triegenes of the Clergy's pantheon was thought to be a great man - one who took his spark of divinity that we all have in us and ascended to godhood with it. Yet the stars that represent their deities are falling out of the sky even as we speak."
Phyllis: "The dragons once ruled Ber's lands. Yet they're extinct."
Phyllis: "Elfaivar's lands are colonies for others."
Phyllis: "If you seek to build for a permanent, indelible achievement, leaving behind a monument to your greatness - it will erode into dust as time marches on without you."
Phyllis: "The museum curators tell the stories of the Ancients, rather than the Ancients themselves. Surely if we had an Ancient well and alive with us today, I'm certain we got the story wrong."
Aleith|DM: Komanov third argument says the best way to achieve greatness is to tear down all the corrupt and weak who kept the world from achieving its highest greatness. In this case, that would be the political leaders of Drakr and their followers.
Phyllis: "If you're familiar with the Chant of Vakesh, you'd know that the Eladrin who adhere to it consider a life well-lived to be the best 'revenge.' They see no point to tearing down old institutions, merely in building your own and thriving even better than they did."
Phyllis: "Drakr is a nation of builders. They leave behind great architecture and engineering - Mirsk is a testament to this. You even have a holiday about this, right? The Forge Festival."
Aleith|DM: To rile up the army, Komanov details a half-dozen high profile actions by those in power, which offended the masses, some ancient, some recent.
Phyllis: "And your answer is to tear down what they built? To lay ruin to the towers keeping the Malice Lands at bay? A mere half-dozen mistakes, and the right answer is to unleash death's scythe and needless suffering on the nation's -citizenry- as well?"
Phyllis: "This is what I'm driving at - how are you any better? Repair the damage they caused. Leave behind a garden. Build something better instead of hurting the innocent."
Aleith|DM: Komanov ends by comparing the army to various mighty heroes from myth and legend, and comparing Phyllis and the Risuri constables to cowards, tricksters, and the same politicians who they are out to destroy, in a rousing speech.
Aleith|DM: Charisma check if you want to end on the same rousing note as Komanov, otherwise continue as usual.
Phyllis: "Really, people build these myths and stories about themselves and others to make sense of the world, but there's no single truth to it. I could stand here and try to paint the exact opposite picture, labelling Komanov as a coward and a trickster and recount how Risur thinks that we're heroes - but I just went on about how none of that lasts, and how you don't have the power to tell your
Phyllis: story once you're gone. "
Phyllis: "What I can point out is this - she's trying to convince you that her way of thinking is the only one, where she tells the story and you merely listen. I'm trying to make you realize that you have that power, yourself. Each of you."
Phyllis: "If I'm a coward and a trickster, that's for you to evaluate and decide, not her."
Aleith|DM: Not the strongest ending, but the conviction in your voice helps sell it.
Aleith|DM: The links from the soldiers up into the clouds has been withering since halfway through your speech.
Aleith|DM: The connections fully snap, and many of the soldiers begin calling for Komanov to step down.
Aleith|DM: But that cry quickly becomes a cry to tear her down from her throne by force.
Aleith|DM: The Vsadni help keep the tide of bodies back, but they're hard-pressed.
Komanov: "Damn you, constables! I'll strike you down where you stand!"
Phyllis: "Uh."
Phyllis: "That may have worked a little too well. What did I say about building something better instead of - ?"
Aleith|DM: One of Komanov's lackeys drops his pack, and hastily pulls out ritual components, scraping his staff and wand in an arcane rhythm.
Aleith|DM: Combat starts.

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